Avril Haines says that if confirmed, she will comply with the law and issue an unclassified report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
President-elect Joe Biden’s candidate to be the next director of national intelligence has said she intends to release an unclassified report to the U.S. Congress on the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Senator Ron Wyden said April Haines that she had the possibility to “immediately turn the page on the excessive secrecy and anarchy of the outgoing administration”.
He then asked if she would submit the report if it was confirmed.
“Yes, senator. Absolutely, I will follow the law, ”Haines replied.
Congress passed a defense bill in December 2019 that included a provision requiring the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to issue an unclassified report on Khashoggi’s murder within 30 days.
It’s huge: incoming DNI Avril Haines has just pledged to publish an unclassified report on the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi. For two years, I have been fighting for transparency and the accountability of those responsible. We’re closer than ever to getting #JusticeForJamal. pic.twitter.com/FNSarsF4Ce
– Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) January 19, 2021
Khashoggi, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi government policies, murdered by a team of Saudi agents at the country’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. He had gone to the building to collect documents to get married.
Human rights groups and United Nations experts have denounced the brazen murder, while U.S. lawmakers in Washington have urged Donald Trump’s administration to investigate those responsible.
American media reported in November 2018, the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination – a charge bin Salman, also known as MBS, denied.
Trump has maintained his support for Saudi Arabia and MBS despite calls for responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder.
The Trump administration has refused to release the entire Khashoggi report in defiance of the law, telling lawmakers that disclosure of the information would compromise the sources and methods of the National Intelligence Bureau.
The 2019 Defense Bill ordered the office to present evidence of any knowledge or role that current or former Saudi government officials or Saudi politicians may have had in “leadership, order. or the falsification of evidence ”in Khashoggi’s murder.
He also asked the director to compile a list of foreign individuals who he said with “great confidence” were responsible for or complicit in Khashoggi’s murder, knew of or helped kill or had hindered the investigation into what was happening. ‘had passed.